Students from local elementary schools and from Pittsburg State have been learning together, thanks to a minor in technological literacy. The degree program, started in Fall 2015, is a joint effort between the College of Education and the College of Technology.

Several days each semester, classes of youngsters fan out in the Technology Learning Center to explore hands-on activities structured around a theme, like “Fairy Tale Problem Solving.” They’re guided by PSU students who ask them to predict, analyze, infer, measure, construct, and collaborate. This better equips the PSU students as future teachers who can implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math activities in their own classrooms one day.

“It helps me realize what works and what doesn’t,” said Jillian Sommerfeld, a senior. “I can see how to relate to students of different abilities.”

Tracy Rampy, an instructor in Teaching & Leadership, said the partnership has been a win-win-win.

“It’s helped our students, their students, and classroom teachers,” she said. “There’s a lot of power in us working together in a total hands-on learning environment. Down the road, it will set our graduates apart from others when it comes time for a district to make a hire.”